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Gentle Sleep

             We all hear the horror stories of sleep deprived new mothers.  I think we’ve been so conditioned to think of late nights with babies that it’s one of the first things we comment upon when meeting up with a new mom.  So when I was pregnant with my first, I was prepared.  I was sure we would go to the hospital, give birth, and that would be the end of our sleep for years.   So you can imagine my surprise when we brought our oldest daughter home from the hospital, and she slept through the night.  From day one.   We had always read and heard that babies... read more

To Not Circumcise or to Not Circumcise; There is No Question.

In the world of natural parenting, we are often blessed with the sciences to prove that certain stances we take are adhered to for the long-lasting benefit of our children.  For instance, no matter how many “experts” have written books claiming that cry-it-out methods work & are harmless, we know that the opposite is true: these methods often fail & are harmful.  Still, parents make choices.  To bed-share, room-share, or not?  To employ the use of “time-outs” or find another, more communicative way?  To vaccinate, delayed-vaccinate, or not?  While I do... read more

Routine Swaddling

The Question of Routine Swaddling By Gussie Fauntleroy Nov 09, 2011 Please see the Special Report: Swaddling Reconsidered for more information and resources on routine swaddling.  Remember the bumper sticker, “What Would Jesus Do?” Here’s a variation on that query: What would Jesus’ mommy do? We are told his mother wrapped her newborn in swaddling clothes. So if it’s good enough for baby Jesus…? Yet simply because a practice has been widespread in various cultures and time periods doesn’t mean it is best for babies. Likewise, even though routine swaddling... read more

Mothering with Mental Illness: You are Not Alone

By Olivia Hinebaugh   I want to do a series of posts about parenting with mental illness. I’m hoping that by sharing my experiences, other parents will realize they are not alone in the great balancing act of caring for self and caring for children.   The most important thing I want to say to parents struggling with mental illness: You are not alone.   Not even a little bit.   There are lots of us, whether we talk about it or not. We fall everywhere on the spectrum from occasional blues to debilitating illness.   And, yes, there is a stigma about mental... read more

Tandem Breastfeeding

By Christine Gilbert  for Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers   I have a secret. I’m still breastfeeding my three-year-old son, along with his three-month-old sister. They call it tandem breastfeeding, but they might as well call it shameful-secret-of-mommies-who-are-doing-it-wrong because that’s exactly what it feels like.   My husband and I have become adept at maneuvering around the major obstacles, hiding the fact from my Ob-Gyn while I was pregnant, since our first doctor said we had to stop immediately because our toddler was stealing nutrients from... read more

This Is Our Last Baby … I Think

By Jessica Rassette for Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers     There is nothing better than a baby bundle. A lump of baby all bundled up on your chest with their frog legs curled up underneath them. Chest to chest, heartbeat to heartbeat, their big fat cheeks covered in drool just begging to be munched on. Yep, nothing is better than a baby bundle.   I’ve been doing the baby bundle with our youngest a lot lately. He’s five months old and my baby bundle days are numbered. Any chance I get I grab that boy around his big ol’ belly and squeeze him as... read more

My Husband, Breastfeeding Hero

  Wherein I attempt to list the ways in which my partner has been crucial to my breastfeeding triumphs. I think breastfeeding moms are pretty good at celebrating each other’s milestones. “You nursed in public for the first time! You go girl!” or “Six months down, six to go! Rock on!” I would like to celebrate breastfeeding hero of mine: my hubby Jason (fully realizing this may embarrass him since he is not at all the boastful or approval-seeking type.) This is just a short list of ways he has helped me breastfeed. He was a great labor partner. This... read more

Five Lessons for New Mamas from a Mama Cat

  If we are to mother instinctually, there are lessons we can learn from instinctual beings caring for their young.   Recently our family has started fostering dogs and cats for our local Humane Society. We provide shelter and care for these animals and the organization provides food, medical attention, and supplies for them until they are adopted out to their "forever homes". Two weeks ago we were asked if we would like to care for a Mama Cat and her four 2-week-old babies. We agreed with squeals of "awwww!" from our boys, and okay...my husband and me,... read more

Cosleeping and Breastfeeding: the perfect combination

By James J. McKenna Issue 114 September/October 2002 Mothers and infants sleeping side by side, also known as cosleeping, is the evolved context of human infant sleep development. Until very recent times, for all human beings, it constituted a prerequisite for infant survival; outside of the Western industrialized context, for the majority of contemporary people, it still does. Because the human infant's body continues to be adapted only to the mother's body, cosleeping with nighttime breastfeeding remains clinically significant and potentially lifesaving. This is... read more

Grapefruit Seed Extract to Treat Thrush

Thrush. Even writing that 6-letter word gives me shivers. Thrush—which is a yeast infection in a baby’s mouth that can spread to a mother’s nipples—can be as painful as it is difficult to diagnose. If you feel shooting pain when your baby latches on to nurse (and sometimes throughout the entire feeding), you may have thrush. Your nipple, depending on your skin tone, may look a little red. Or it may not look any different. You can sometimes tell if the baby has thrush by looking at his tongue: if it is coated in a white substance that looks like milk but doesn’t come off... read more

Mothering › Baby Articles